E-commerce stores are quickly taking over the web. Across the globe, there are millions of these sites, with thousands of brand new e-commerce shops being created by businesses and entrepreneurs each day. In such a busy marketplace, e-commerce store owners must invest in the very best software to keep up with the ever-growing competition.

One of the key players in the world of e-commerce is Magento. There are currently two versions of the Magento platform available to use and choosing between the two can be tricky for those who are new to e-commerce software. This article will answer 'what is Magento 1 and 2?', take a look at the differences between the two versions of the platform and consider which version is best for building your e-commerce site.

What is Magento?

Magento is an e-commerce platform that is built on open source technology - this means that the source code can easily be modified, redistributed and is freely available to use. The integration of open source technology allows Magento to offer online e-commerce store owners a flexible shopping cart system along with full control over the design and functionality of their websites.

Magento is currently owned by Adobe and has been ranked among the top 10 leading e-commerce platforms for 2021. One of the many reasons that merchants are drawn to the site is that it's professional and completely free to use! Magento has a built-in PHP, which helps store owners to create high-quality e-commerce stores that are able to expand with the forever changing market.

What is Magento 1 and 2?

There are two versions of Magento available for e-commerce merchants to use. Magento 2 was released by the software company (Adobe) as an upgrade to Magento 1 and provides many features which make it a more efficient option. While many aspects of the platform remain the same, there are some significant differences between the two versions.

Platform architecture

To improve store performance, the creators of Magento 2 have added a range of new technologies to the platform. These technologies include Apache, Composer, Symfony and Nginx 1.7.

These new technologies have made huge improvements to the architecture of the Magento platform, but the most notable differences include:

The support of the latest PHP versions, which help to improve security and store speed.

Minimised and bundled Javascript, which helps to reduce unnecessary browser operations for the client.

Advance browser caching (for any static content).

The architectural differences that can be found in Magento 2 enable e-commerce stores to operate with the latest versions of important software, helping with overall store performance.

Store speed and performance

Compared to the earlier version of the platform, Magento 2 provides much faster loading speeds. Magento 2 can also process more orders per hour and offer faster add-to-cart response times as well as faster checkout times. For your customers, this will greatly improve their experience of using your e-commerce store which will encourage them to return.

Magento extensions

While Magento 1 does offer a range of third party extensions for site builders, many users will experience extension conflicts, which is when two (or more) extensions attempt to rewrite the same website function. The cost of solving this issue can be very time consuming and expensive to fix.

Upgrades to Magento 2 have solved this issue by allowing code to overlap with other code, rather than conflict with it. This means that extensions can be used without running into problems. The available extensions for Magento 2 are also much more affordable and easier to install thanks to the new technologies that have been introduced to the platform.

Dashboard upgrades

To make the platform easier for e-commerce store builders to navigate, the dashboard of Magento 2 has been upgraded to become more interactive and user friendly. The new and improved dashboard will allow you to manage your store more efficiently, find information quickly and navigate to all parts of the admin panel with ease. Magento 1 had a much messier dashboard design that made it trickier to navigate and more complicated to manage your store from.

SEO capabilities

While Magento 1 did offer some SEO features, Magento 2 is much better. Magento 2 allows meta tags for individual pages and is excellently optimised for mobile phones. This plays a huge role in the SERP ranking of your e-commerce store and will result in more optimised content. The better the SEO of your store, the more traffic you will acquire from the search engines.


One aspect of the Magento software that you should be wary about is the platform's security. Open source platforms are often extremely easy to hack and the best companies will make sure to offer support to users if they experience security breaches or bugs. However, as of June 2020, Magento 1 no longer offers security support services. This could leave your e-commerce store vulnerable to security problems.

How much does it cost to use Magento?

When discussing the differences between the two versions of Magento, it's hard to avoid talking about pricing. As you may have guessed, Magento 2 is more expensive to use than Magento 1. Both are open source, so you dont have to 'buy' the software. But you will pay the website development company to set up the store for you, this is based on time, funtionaliuty and the amount fo products you have that will need setting up.

While it's possible to build a perfectly good e-commerce store with Magento 1, opting for Magento 2 will help you to keep up with the busy e-commerce market and create a store that can handle growth and expansion.

It is also important to note that as Magento 1 is phased out support for it will diminish - as will the security patches Magento 1 will offer.

How can we help?

At Clickingmad, we have a range of experts ready to handle your website design and development needs. We specialise in working with Magento sites as well as those created with Joomla and WordPress. If you're new to the world of website development, our team can help you to create a stylish and functional e-commerce store using Magento.

Back to Main News & Insights page